Psychosocial predictors of asthma onset during mid-adulthood: evidence from the National Child Development Study
1. Do life course adversities predict asthma onset? What types of adversity are important?
2. What factors confound and mediate associations between childhood adversity and asthma onset?
3. In the context of life course adversity, do psychological factors predict asthma onset?
Data from the National Child Development Study from birth to age 42 were used. Asthma onset was measured between 33 and 42.
To reduce bias and maintain numbers, missing values were imputed in multiple data sets. Logistic regression analyses were conducted of asthma onset on life course adversities, classified as material (including occupation-related) and social (family-/relationship-related, child loss, traumatic). Nested models were used to address questions 2 and 3, and a wide range of factors tested.
After adjustment for gender, asthma onset during mid-adulthood was more common among cohort members who reported life course adversities (odds ratio per category = 1.232 (1.140–1.332)) in eight categories. Social adversities predicted asthma onset after adjustment for material adversities. The association between childhood adversity and asthma onset was mediated by subsequent adversity and depressive symptoms at 33. Asthma onset was predicted by female gender, atopic history, life course adversity, internalising childhood temperament and depressive symptoms at 33.
This study contributes to a small evidence base that life course adversities substantially increase the risk of adult-onset asthma, and highlights the importance of psychosocial pathways. The salience of depressive symptoms shortly before diagnosed onset is a new finding.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, UK
Publication date: October 2020
This article was made available online on October 27, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Psychosocial predictors of asthma onset during mid-adulthood: evidence from the National Child Development Study".
Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (LLCS) is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the needs of researchers studying the life course and using longitudinal methods at the interfaces of social, developmental and health sciences. It fosters cross-disciplinary and international endeavours and promotes the creation and exploitation of longitudinal data resources as well as their application to policy issues. As the journal of the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies (SLLS) it provides an opportunity for scholars at all stages of their careers to publish work crossing disciplinary boundaries which is often beyond the scope of more conventional, single-field journals.
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